Ryman Div One North
Grays Athletic 3 v 0 Thamesmead Town
A MUCH improved Grays Athletic put in an impressive performance against fellow promotion contenders to beat Thamesmead Town 3-0 at Rush Green Stadium.
Grays started the stronger with the team playing neat triangles on the right hand side. The Blues were playing in an adventurous 4-3-3 formation.
The first real danger came from a Joao Carlos corner that the Thamesmead keeper, Dave Hogan did well to fist away.
In the 9th minute, the portuguese winger sent over another one that eluded everybody.
Jared Small continued to look organised and controlled without really doing anything.
Joe Sweeney broke the deadlock in the 13th minute with the sweetest of lobs from just outside the area that completely fooled the Mead keeper.
And a minute later, Grays made it 2-0. A kick out by Kamarusi beat the defence; Joao Carlos chased after the ball and stroked it past keeper Hogan.
This was the Grays, fans love to see: confident, assertive and spraying the ball around the park. At the other end, Ryan Kirby and Junior Baker were a sold no-nonsense force.
In the 21st minute,, Leon Lalite put a beautiful through ball to Joao Carlos but he just let it get away from him.
Thamesmead were very hesitant for a team that has had such a good start to the season and unable to exploit the three man Grays midfield. Having said that Grays were fighting for every ball and tackling hard. Joe Sweeney in particular was putting in a real shift.
The pressure was incessant. Jack West earned a corner after a lovely through ball from Danny Bunce.
Grays picked up where they left off. A Danny Bunce piledriver in the 48th minute hit a Mead defender and went off for a corner. A minute later, Jared Small really should have scored after he soared above the Mead defence but his header went over.
Mead did improvre. Ashley Prubets put in a free kick that gave Malchi Hudson a point blank header but George Kamarusi produced a fine save.
Joao Carlos was starting to rampage down the left. Again a cross was met by Jared Small and again he failed to find the target.
In the 60th minute, Craig Pope was forced to head the ball off the line. Boss Hakan knew that the third goal was vital. More Mead corners came and once again Grays defended manfully.
The pressure turned into an onslaught as Mead really turned on the pressure and yet every time, Junior Baker rose high to head away.
Grays Ath put the game beyond doubt in the 79th minute when, once again, good work by Joao Carlos saw a neat cross find Jack West free in the box and the striker had a simple task to score the third.
Grays have a break in the league with their next home game at home against Ware on Dec 1st.
Grays Ath: Kamarusi G, Pope C, Baker J, Kirby R, Bunce D, Carlos J (Flynn L 80) , Lalite L, Small J, West J (Oyinsan J 89), Sweeney J, Beaney K.
Subs not used: Smith G, Marshall L, East D